Anyone who loves tools, especially old ones has probably hankered for a tool chest like this. For an engineer owning one is almost a right of passage.
I found this one on a car book sale, It was full of engineering tools, most of which I had already and the rest I had no use for. The price the gentleman wanted for it complete was good but he could probably have sold the tools alone for more than he was asking. I could see he was sad to sell it, he had worked for British Aerospace up in Preston and it was obviously his own. With a little negotiation I departed with just the chest leaving him the tools which I hope he makes a good profit on.
It was covered in stickers and in need of some TLC but after fitting some carry handles, a little fettling, fixing, cutting new keys and polishing up this was what I had.
The drawer handles were plastic which I’m not much of a fan of so I ordered some nice turned oak ones like I had used on my Ditty Box.
I also replaced the flock vinyl drawer linings with some proper felt which looks and feels much better.
Another online search gave me a source for drawer label plates and a little work in Corel Draw later I printed the labels too.
I aged them a bit with a wet tea bag to tone them in with the rest of the tool chest.
This will give me somewhere to keep the nicer tools in my workshop and be portable for events and Steam Tent camps too.
All in all a nice find that will serve me well in the future I think.
I recently found a nice old wrench that matches some of my favourite, so called “perfect handle” turnscrews that I have acquired over the years.
I wanted to post it here but its not really a big enough deal to set it up on another page so I thought this page might also be a good place to show some of the nicer or more interesting tools I pick up from time to time. So watch this space.
The Wrench is an old GPO tool. Heavy, reliable and hefty enough to be used as a hammer which it looks like it has been a couple of times. It needed a bit wax on the woodwork and some of the burred edges smoothing off but otherwise seems in good condition.
This fellow I picked up a while ago at the Green Man festival in 2016. It has a chuck for square shanked bits, maximum 3/16ths” ( 5mm ) across the flats but that could be ground out of a 1/4” ( 7mm ) round shaft.
The hollow handle will take a maximum length of 2 1/2” ( 65mm ). The only bit that came with it is a simple spike but I’m thinking I could grind a few drill bits to fit and maybe an old screw driver or two.
A nice little Pad\Keyhole Saw with a bit of age to it and a couple of small spirit levels.
One looks to be a fairly simple engineers level but the other is quite unusual. The tube is ground flat on one side and there are no other markings on the glass. Housed in it’s own purpose made wooden case, it seems accurate enough compared to the other but I’ve never seen anything else quite like it.
The nesting set of small screw drivers is marked Nubo (Foreign) and is nicely engineered to fit in the hand.
Found a carpenters toolbox recently that needed a bit of restoration. It seemed like decent timber but had been painted with thick black paint.
Out came the paint stripper and on went some wax instead. I added three box drawers for hardware and the like and then set about making the mounts for a couple of saws in the drop down front.
Added some labels and handles to match the Engineers Tool Chest and I’m quite pleased with the result.
Together they form an impressive part of the furniture in my tent at the Steam Tent Co-operative events and ensure that I have most of the tools I might need right with me.
A few more little treasures found at boot sales and online auctions.
There would have been a time when these would have cost a fortune but in these days of CAD and digital measurement I guess there is less call for them than there used to be.
There is still something aesthetically pleasing and tactile about them though.